Brain injury; Head trauma; Concussion
A head injury is any trauma that leads to injury of the scalp, skull, or brain. The injuries can range from a minor bump on the skull to serious brain injury.
Head injury is classified as either closed or open (penetrating).
Head injuries include:
Every year, millions of people have a head injury. Most of these injuries are minor because the skull provides the brain with considerable protection. The symptoms of minor head injuries usually go away on their own. More than half a million head injuries a year, however, are severe enough to require hospitalization.
Learning to recognize a serious head injury and give basic first aid can make the difference in saving someone's life.
Common causes of head injury include traffic accidents, falls, physical assault, and accidents at home, work, outdoors, or while playing sports.
Heegaard WG, Biros MH. Head. In: Marx J. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2009:chap. 38.
Atabaki SM. Pediatric head injury. Pediatr Rev. 2007;28(6):215-224.
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